I'm getting up in playing three years now, and my biggest problem is that I think too much about the whole playing/learning thing. When I learn other things, I take everything as it comes, and don't expect to master it right away, but when it comes to the guitar I get STRESSED. I sit down and think about all the things I should do (divide my time in sections and play scales, study theory, practice sight reading, play a song a certain time etc) and I just get scared and shy off. It was better when I was starting out, because to me, back then, having Mark Knopfler as my guitar hero, playing the guitar was like going to the moon on a tennis shoe. It was something incredibly difficult and I didn't understand anything at all. I had a book and I followed everything they told me to do and practiced until I could play the little exercise. But I was slowly getting better, and I spent a lot of time reading stuff online, and suddenly it feels as if I'm falling into the universe after previously having had been in a closet. There's so much stuff and I get panicked.

I don't know how often I play, but I'd say like 3-4 times/week, and it saddens me, because I want to play, and when I actually do play, it's a lot of fun. But I get so scared and stressed out that I procrastinate and don't. When I'm at work I'm thinking to myself that as soon as I get home I should sit down and play a little. (I usually wind up laying on the bed and falling asleep :P.) The whole day, I'm thinking I need to stop being stupid and sit down and play. Around 7 I'm thinking it's getting really late and I should start, and by 9 I'm thinking it's closing in on me NEEDING to. Around 11 I'm thinking "ok, it's not that bad, why wouldnt' I be able to play? It's no biggie" and sometimes I do actually start playing, but the thing is that it's so late now and I don't want to bother people, and I go to bed at 12. I don't know why I do this. I'm a seamstress and in I used to make complicated stuff in school and back when I was studing for this, I was scared in a similar way and I would work slower, but by the end of the third year it was starting to lift off a bit, and now having had come into the working scene, it's practically gone. There were certain things I could do in school, that I wouldn't even feel scared about, that were so complicated and time consuming, but I wouldn't blink an eye but head straight into it. I'd make something (like 30 hours) but then not settle for that and embroider something by hand that took an additional 30 hours. WTF!!

I know anything you might say will not "cure" me from this, but I'd apprechiate thoughts, input and similar experiences.

The other question, as my headline states, is about keeping an eye on your fingers. I know you're supposed to sit with a metronome and watch your fingers and then work up your speed and accuracy. I started out playing classical music and more folky types of pieces, fingerpicking stuff. Now when I've started playing rock and there's faster bits I need to learn I've started wondering about it. I'm confused to how closely you should watch them. Do I need to watch my 1st, 2nd and 4th finger when I'm doing a slide with my 3rd? What about when doing a vibrato/bend? What about when there notes all spread out, and you need to tilt your hand a little and it's not like playing a scale, where you can have more "control" of the hand? Something like this (Jesu, joy of man's desiring);


Oh, and also, now when I'm trying to start playing everyday, start to get into it and not shy away, should I pick one or two songs and stick to those and learn them, fool around a little with different stuff when I feel like it, a few important exercises like picking exercises and then leave it at that until I get into a habit of playing, or should I still try and keep it very scheduled?
Quote by ChrisN
...but before our bassist moved on to bass, he played guitar. He was trying to learn barre chords. To make his fingers stay, he sellotaped his whole hand to the fret board.
Then he got cramp and couldn't get the tape of without scissors.
Last edited by Sorella at Aug 2, 2008,
i go through the same thing man. it is stressful sometimes. but you gotta decide how much you want it, and force yourself to do it. i find it gets fun after about 20 minutes
Quote by metlhed23
i go through the same thing man. it is stressful sometimes. but you gotta decide how much you want it, and force yourself to do it. i find it gets fun after about 20 minutes

I couldn't agree with this guy more. When ever Im at school or out doing something, im always like "Man as soon as I get home, Im gunna play" but then I end up getting home and I have to do something else or I just get lazy about it. Ive also been trying to do alot of theory and scales and stuff like that but lately ive realized, you just have to sit down and play man... Thats how my attitude has been and after about 10-20mins, I start jamming the **** out and its mad fun...
Quote by slapsymcdougal
I suggest you select the least popular of the woman-creatures, and fart directly in her face.
I'm glad I'm not the only one. I sit at work all day thinking about how much I want to get better and then when I have to sit and practice I think I'm going to have a "bad day" and get scared off. When it finally clicks it makes it all worth it.
I guess I'm just an oddball here, but I play when I want to. I never say "Dude, you're gonna sit your ass down and PLAY that damn guitar when you get home." I get home, and I find myself playing guitar INSTEAD of doing other things that I should (studying for college ). And many days I won't even touch the guitar, and I never think twice about it. I don't look at days when I don't play guitar as "missed chances to improve" but rather days where I simply felt like doing something else. I think one of the things that people struggle with on these forums is thinking that they have GOT to learn how to play guitar really good. You should play guitar because it's fun to you, or because you are inspired when you watch your friend who's better than you play.

I suppose one thing you could do, mr topic creator, is put at least one guitar in each of your most used rooms, preferably within reach of where you sit often. That way, if you're waiting for a computer program to load, or TV commercials to pass, you can pick up the guitar without having to get off your lazy butt and you may just turn off your tv/computer and play guitar instead, since you've got that damn thing in your hands anyway.

I dunno. I just think people on these forums stress too hard as if playing guitar was a daily obligation.
Well, It's summer now, so I have plent of time to play, but once school starts I just play when I'm up to it or if I'm homework free. As far as your other issue about watching fingers, I watch when I'm learning and once I get it down I try to feel it out until its perfect, then move on. Playing isn't mandatory for people like us, but if ur in a band or something to make a living, then yes you might want to practice. Just don't stress and you'll be fine on your learning. Good Luck!
I can't watch my left hand. I don't play well unless I'm watching my right hand, which I use for strumming.

Seriously, I'm learning crazy train, and I can't play if I'm watching my fingers the whole time.
"Dude, you gotta pull an "Axl Rose" on them.
Tell them it's your band, if they don't like it, they can get in line and kiss your ass." ~pablo_arg
its all practice man... practice for a solid hour of stuff you like and in a year or two you should improve
Do you care about your guitar playing a lot? It sorta sounds like you care so much about it that it stresses you out. I'm sorta like that. Just take it easy is what I say to myself when I feel worried about all this stuff. That and "just play."
You don't have to learn theory, learn to sight read, or any of that ****e man. These are all things that you CAN do, but no matter what anyone says they are not needed. All you have to do is sit down, tune it, and make some noise. You don't even have to tune it if you don't want to, hell, you don't even have to play it. Do what YOU want to do.
"Just plug in and expect the worst, you'll be okay"

- Quote from some european dude in guitar world magazine on tips for aspiring guitarists
Quote by SZ320man
"Just plug in and expect the worst, you'll be okay"

- Quote from some european dude in guitar world magazine on tips for aspiring guitarists

That's pretty much sums up what I've been trying to say. Thanks for the quote.
haha i cant keep myself from playing, if the guitar is out of the case, i will be late to wherever i am going, i advise turning that noisy brain of yours off. and just jamming out, and as long as you know where you are putting your fingers who cares what you are looking at, if you make the guitar make the right noises, you are doing okay. focus on that instead of how your hand looks


Quote by ajmasterjaydude
so this kid at my school microwaved brussel sprouts for lunch, and when he was about to eat them one of them exploded on his face and burned him. i like turtles

in a thread about malmsteen^